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THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE


Sthrngary
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2 hours ago, kitty-sail said:

Sorry but I haven't had the pleasure of tasting the ones in O'Sheehans.

I go to O'Sheehans for their wings and nacho platter. And on occasion their prime rib.

Love the Thai wings and nachos too, and the prime rib..we are doing the transatlantic cruise this dec in the two bedroom with my bff..2 bedroom on the getaway haven..cheaper for our friend and a little more expensive for us but feel it will be well worth it! Our other trips in the med we found prime rib not offered in osheehans as it was in the Caribbean 

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Regarding pre-booking specialty restaurants. I have always made my restaurant reservations with the concierge as soon as we board. Sometimes they are in the Haven pre-boarding section handing out forms for dining and shore. The last time I cruised (pre-covid😷) I received an email to pre-book dining slots. I returned the email with my selections. However when I boarded, my reservation times never made it into the log. Error did not appear until a day or 2 later.  Concierge did her best to accommodate me but there was a real problem getting an early seating. 

How do you pre-book dining times? or just wait til onboard? I always pre-book shore excusions and never had a problem.

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1 minute ago, kitty-sail said:

Regarding pre-booking specialty restaurants. I have always made my restaurant reservations with the concierge as soon as we board. Sometimes they are in the Haven pre-boarding section handing out forms for dining and shore. The last time I cruised (pre-covid😷) I received an email to pre-book dining slots. I returned the email with my selections. However when I boarded, my reservation times never made it into the log. Error did not appear until a day or 2 later.  Concierge did her best to accommodate me but there was a real problem getting an early seating. 

How do you pre-book dining times? or just wait til onboard? I always pre-book shore excusions and never had a problem.

Haven Guest have online access a few days prior to everyone else.  I can't remember the number of days but I am sure someone else can clarify.  Book the times and dates prior to everyone outside of the Haven online.  Remember, when you have a groups like "5" it won't let you reserve a table for "5".  Do "6" I found that out the hard way.  Hope that helps.  For me this technique is a never miss.

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If we don't get the timings we like online then we tend to do it once we get onboard with the concierge. To assist the very busy concierge  we will have written down what we like instead of trying to think on the spot. 

 

Booking online, reservations are only about 25% so to give people boarding a chance to board remaining slots. 

 

I know the concierge will try their upmost but even so, sometimes you simply can't get the time you would like

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4 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

Haven Guest have online access a few days prior to everyone else.  I can't remember the number of days but I am sure someone else can clarify.  Book the times and dates prior to everyone outside of the Haven online.  Remember, when you have a groups like "5" it won't let you reserve a table for "5".  Do "6" I found that out the hard way.  Hope that helps.  For me this technique is a never miss.

To piggy back off Gary.....You can reserve specialty dinning 130 days out from departure (Haven guests.)  I believe all other guests can reserve at the 120 day mark.  I also think all available times are offered to the Haven guests.  Not sure that is true for everyone else at 120 days. 

 

I book my cruise online through NCL...and that is where I make my reservations for specialty dinning.  Its really easy and I always get my restaurant and time.  Just don't wait to that 120 day cuz the whole ship will be trying to get those slots.  Not sure how it works if you use a TA.

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14 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

Ignoring the beating of a dead horse that just keeps neighing...

 

I'll be hopping on the Encore in ~45 days in an Aft Haven cabin. I know all about the M&Ms (plain & peanut) and gummy bears, but what other munchies have folks asked for and received in their rooms?

 

Our first Haven experience wasn't a good one, but for our 2nd trip we had a much better butler. He asked for our preferences on day 1 and when I told him to think of me as an oversized child in terms of food preferences, he nailed it. BLT and PB&J sandwich triangles for me, with the fancier canapes for hubby.

 

Does anyone know what the little fried chickpea crunchy munchy snacks from the Haven bar are called? Or the trail mix that isn't trail mix (more of an asian sesame cracker mix) I usually see near the martini bar? Just looking for some new ideas of stuff to have in the room for late night munchies.

 

 

 

The bar mix is called Munchie Crunchie Mix and is available from New Urban Farms newurbanfarms.com 954-923-3379. Unfortunately,  it's currently on back order for a few weeks.

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1 hour ago, coin ops said:

 

The bar mix is called Munchie Crunchie Mix and is available from New Urban Farms newurbanfarms.com 954-923-3379. Unfortunately,  it's currently on back order for a few weeks.

Hopefully it's on back order because NCL bought a LOT!

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4 hours ago, WarfRatWA said:

To piggy back off Gary.....You can reserve specialty dinning 130 days out from departure (Haven guests.)  I believe all other guests can reserve at the 120 day mark.  I also think all available times are offered to the Haven guests.  Not sure that is true for everyone else at 120 days. 

 

I book my cruise online through NCL...and that is where I make my reservations for specialty dinning.  Its really easy and I always get my restaurant and time.  Just don't wait to that 120 day cuz the whole ship will be trying to get those slots.  Not sure how it works if you use a TA.

Question? When you have dining package how do you pre book? Don't they want you to pay when you book? We have a boatload of non refundable OBC and want to use this for shore excursions and specialty dining for our grandson and Teppenyaki. Can't book excursions because they want me to pay and want to use credit as well.

Do plan on the Haven restaurant on other three nights.

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5 minutes ago, latebloomer56 said:

Question? When you have dining package how do you pre book? Don't they want you to pay when you book? We have a boatload of non refundable OBC and want to use this for shore excursions and specialty dining for our grandson and Teppenyaki. Can't book excursions because they want me to pay and want to use credit as well.

Do plan on the Haven restaurant on other three nights.

As I understand it, OBC can only be used On-Board.  So you want for when you get on the ship.  FCC you can call NCL, they can use them.  The key is, you have to call them early.  I used FCC for excursions.  On the Specialty Restaurants, again call them if using FCC. 

 

So OBC, have to wait.  FCC call them.  Hope I helped.

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6 hours ago, Shellbelle28 said:

Hopefully it's on back order because NCL bought a LOT!

I can't say for sure it was NCL, but they did say the inventory they had was purchased by a cruise line.  

They're supposed to call me when its back in stock.  We're addicted to the stuff. 😉

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23 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

Ignoring the beating of a dead horse that just keeps neighing...

 

I'll be hopping on the Encore in ~45 days in an Aft Haven cabin. I know all about the M&Ms (plain & peanut) and gummy bears, but what other munchies have folks asked for and received in their rooms?

 

Our first Haven experience wasn't a good one, but for our 2nd trip we had a much better butler. He asked for our preferences on day 1 and when I told him to think of me as an oversized child in terms of food preferences, he nailed it. BLT and PB&J sandwich triangles for me, with the fancier canapes for hubby.

 

Does anyone know what the little fried chickpea crunchy munchy snacks from the Haven bar are called? Or the trail mix that isn't trail mix (more of an asian sesame cracker mix) I usually see near the martini bar? Just looking for some new ideas of stuff to have in the room for late night munchies.

 

 

No, but I did ask my butler once if we could keep a supply of that awesome bar mix in our room. He happily obliged. YUM.

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On 7/15/2021 at 7:56 AM, Sthrngary said:

Anything you want to know about an (H2) Deluxe Owners Suite, just ask.  I am on the Joy end of November with my family of 5.  It will be quite the cruise for both of us.

Thank you! I’ve read this whole post a few times and made notes. We’re pretty low maintenance, meaning we’ll ask for what we want, like snacks and stuff, but won’t get all bent out of shape if something goes somewhat awry. 
 

Because we’re on the SoCar on Epic, we’re of course planning lots of island fun, like hikes and active water things. I say all that to express we’re most interested in hoping we get great breakfast/debarking service to get to where we’re going on time. When we board after long tiring days we want to make sure to ask for drinks and snacks to be there upon return. It seems like your OP suggests to let folks know our desires politely as soon as possible, like pre-concierge and then butler on board. Hopefully I’m getting it right, but correct me or add tips if I’m wrong. Also reallllly looking forward to those included liquor bottles and mixers!
 

Btw, replying from our first trip to Montana and highly recommend a visit here, if anyone is considering it. Wide open spaces, indeed!

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On 7/15/2021 at 4:45 PM, Sthrngary said:

As I understand it, OBC can only be used On-Board.  So you want for when you get on the ship.  FCC you can call NCL, they can use them.  The key is, you have to call them early.  I used FCC for excursions.  On the Specialty Restaurants, again call them if using FCC. 

 

So OBC, have to wait.  FCC call them.  Hope I helped.

Thank our TA had them use some OBC for the service charges and asked if we wanted to use some of the balance for drink packs. We wanted to get soda packs for three and drink for just two they said no all adults needed to drink package for the cabin. Only two of us drink and neither of us would drink enough to even cover the price of one free drink promo.

Guess we will wait until we board and book everything then. Haven't had any issues in the past getting seats or excursions, but largest ship has been the Gem until now.

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10 hours ago, rmandmm said:

Because we’re on the SoCar on Epic, we’re of course planning lots of island fun, like hikes and active water things. I say all that to express we’re most interested in hoping we get great breakfast/debarking service to get to where we’re going on time. When we board after long tiring days we want to make sure to ask for drinks and snacks to be there upon return. It seems like your OP suggests to let folks know our desires politely as soon as possible, like pre-concierge and then butler on board. Hopefully I’m getting it right, but correct me or add tips if I’m wrong. Also reallllly looking forward to those included liquor bottles and mixers!

The liquor bottles & mixers are only if you're in an owners suite I believe. Epic was amazing for the So. Car., that was our last trip pre-Covid. The Haven lounge is great, we spent every night there at the bar making new friends and closing it out most nights (well, hubby did, I usually stumbled back to the room earlier to sit on the balcony before dozing off). 

 

During the day there's a small bar open for Haven near the back of the outdoor dining room next to the Haven pool. Then later at night the lounge bar opens and that's when the fun begins. They'll learn your drink preferences, and don't be afraid to just say "I'm in the mood for something with Malibu..." and *poof* they'll make it happen. 

 

Our bartender was Erwin from the Philippines, and hubby says he wishes there was a way to find which ship the crew would be on next so we can sail with him again. I don't even remember how it started, but Erwin made a drink for him that he coined "nuts & berries". It was a mix of all the nut liquors (amaretto, frangelico, etc) and bourbon soaked fruits (blueberries, strawberries) plus a splash of club soda. We have failed miserably trying to recreate it, but hubby would drink at least 2-3 of these a night.

 

Another night he was in the mood for root beer of all things. Erwin found some, and turned it into an adult boozy root beer float for him. Amazing. He was tipped quite generously throughout the trip and made the experience so much more memorable for us. To me, that is what makes the Haven special. The fact that on an amazing 11 day cruise to 10 different islands (all of which were amazing), some of our most treasured memories is actually on the ship itself.

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3 hours ago, latebloomer56 said:

Thank our TA had them use some OBC for the service charges and asked if we wanted to use some of the balance for drink packs. We wanted to get soda packs for three and drink for just two they said no all adults needed to drink package for the cabin. Only two of us drink and neither of us would drink enough to even cover the price of one free drink promo.

Guess we will wait until we board and book everything then. Haven't had any issues in the past getting seats or excursions, but largest ship has been the Gem until now.

Hello, I am the Op-Ed.  On the drink package, wait until you get on board.  Let me give you an example.  Five people in my party, in the Haven, Premium Drink Package goes to everyone, I paid the tips like everyone else so same thing here.  Here was my issue, two of the five wanted the Premium Plus Drink Package.  Online or pre-cruise, all five had to get it.  However when I get onboard, I can get them to give it to my wife and I only.  How do I know?  I have an email from one of the executives assistance confirming this fact.  That was good information.

The issue with NCL and every other cruise brand is they are locked by their own computer program.  To make an alteration takes an act of congress.  I am glad you were able to use the OBC pre-cruise for what you could.  Cruise well.

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10 hours ago, rmandmm said:

Because we’re on the SoCar on Epic, we’re of course planning lots of island fun, like hikes and active water things. I say all that to express we’re most interested in hoping we get great breakfast/debarking service to get to where we’re going on time. When we board after long tiring days we want to make sure to ask for drinks and snacks to be there upon return.

Geeze.... I got sidetracked down memory lane. The whole reason I was replying was to chat about your plans and give you tips that we learned doing the similar thing. You can order breakfast in your room daily for no charge. They'll give you a card to hang on the door, but you can write down anything you want (within reason) and they'll bring it. On days that we had early excursions we did breakfast in the room with hash browns, bagels, bacon, fruit, cereal.... anything you want. Would always wrap up an extra muffin or bagel and bring in our bag to snack on during the trip. 

 

We would tell the butler the approximate time we were headed back from the excursion and he would have the pitchers of water and juice restocked before then with our afternoon snacks and so the sandwiches weren't sitting out all day. If you prefer different snacks mid-day vs before bed, just let them know. A good butler will ask you, the bad ones don't say a thing and then it's up to you to do the asking. But don't be like us on our first Haven experience and stay quiet - ask. And if they give you a hard time, go to guest services and explain that you're a Haven guest and your butler wasn't helping you, so you came to them. 

 

Our first Haven trip like I said wasn't a good one, and since we waited until we got home to say anything there wasn't much that could be done to fix the experience. Lesson learned. Second trip was on the Epic and that was awesome. Next month will be our 3rd time - tie breaker time to see if it is truly "worth it" - but this time we're armed with the info of what it is supposed to be like and will speak up if it falls short.

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10 hours ago, rmandmm said:

Thank you! I’ve read this whole post a few times and made notes. We’re pretty low maintenance, meaning we’ll ask for what we want, like snacks and stuff, but won’t get all bent out of shape if something goes somewhat awry. 
 

Because we’re on the SoCar on Epic, we’re of course planning lots of island fun, like hikes and active water things. I say all that to express we’re most interested in hoping we get great breakfast/debarking service to get to where we’re going on time. When we board after long tiring days we want to make sure to ask for drinks and snacks to be there upon return. It seems like your OP suggests to let folks know our desires politely as soon as possible, like pre-concierge and then butler on board. Hopefully I’m getting it right, but correct me or add tips if I’m wrong. Also reallllly looking forward to those included liquor bottles and mixers!
 

Btw, replying from our first trip to Montana and highly recommend a visit here, if anyone is considering it. Wide open spaces, indeed!

I am the OP.  When you order breakfast to the room, tell the Butler to only use the Haven Restaurant.  The regular room service is not so good. Remember, the Haven Restaurant needs to be open when you want our food.  When ready to go off the ship, go to the Haven desk.  Behind the desk is a service elevator.  You will be escorted off the ship in a flash.  When you come back, remember.  No adult beverages will be delivered to your room by glass.  If you order them, regardless of drink package, they will cost you.  Just have your mini bar stocked.  You can ask for snacks from your butler and tell them what you like.  They can accommodate with in reason.  The liquor bottles are nice yes, the chooses are kind of cheap stuff.  I am sure you can upgrade to premium brands.  

 

I hope I helped.

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4 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

Geeze.... I got sidetracked down memory lane. The whole reason I was replying was to chat about your plans and give you tips that we learned doing the similar thing. You can order breakfast in your room daily for no charge. They'll give you a card to hang on the door, but you can write down anything you want (within reason) and they'll bring it. On days that we had early excursions we did breakfast in the room with hash browns, bagels, bacon, fruit, cereal.... anything you want. Would always wrap up an extra muffin or bagel and bring in our bag to snack on during the trip. 

 

We would tell the butler the approximate time we were headed back from the excursion and he would have the pitchers of water and juice restocked before then with our afternoon snacks and so the sandwiches weren't sitting out all day. If you prefer different snacks mid-day vs before bed, just let them know. A good butler will ask you, the bad ones don't say a thing and then it's up to you to do the asking. But don't be like us on our first Haven experience and stay quiet - ask. And if they give you a hard time, go to guest services and explain that you're a Haven guest and your butler wasn't helping you, so you came to them. 

 

Our first Haven trip like I said wasn't a good one, and since we waited until we got home to say anything there wasn't much that could be done to fix the experience. Lesson learned. Second trip was on the Epic and that was awesome. Next month will be our 3rd time - tie breaker time to see if it is truly "worth it" - but this time we're armed with the info of what it is supposed to be like and will speak up if it falls short.

Everything you said about the Butlers and service is correct except one minor detail.   The Butlers report to the head concierge.  Go to them if you're having an issue. 

 

We had a Butler refuse to bring pitchers of water or savory instead of sweet snacks (wife is diabetic).  She was quickly replaced and we had an amazing experience!

 

*ironically,  the water and snacks request were the ONLY thing we requested.  So in our experience it was no to everything!

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13 minutes ago, Yesimapirate said:

Everything you said about the Butlers and service is correct except one minor detail.   The Butlers report to the head concierge.  Go to them if you're having an issue. 

 

We had a Butler refuse to bring pitchers of water or savory instead of sweet snacks (wife is diabetic).  She was quickly replaced and we had an amazing experience!

 

*ironically,  the water and snacks request were the ONLY thing we requested.  So in our experience it was no to everything!

Bravo, GREAT information.  I did not know that.  Thank You.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2021 at 10:19 PM, KatHaven said:

The Haven is the best!  I hope I never have to book an inside again. 

We started out in a balcony and worked our way up. Don't think I could ever go back to a tiny balcony room again. Welcome to the Haven.

 

Edited by kitty-sail
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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, rmandmm said:

 

Btw, replying from our first trip to Montana and highly recommend a visit here, if anyone is considering it. Wide open spaces, indeed!

Have never been to Montana but would really like to see it.  You are so blessed to live in "Gods Country".

Edited by kitty-sail
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7 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

 

Our first Haven trip like I said wasn't a good one, and since we waited until we got home to say anything there wasn't much that could be done to fix the experience. Lesson learned. Second trip was on the Epic and that was awesome. Next month will be our 3rd time - tie breaker time to see if it is truly "worth it" - but this time we're armed with the info of what it is supposed to be like and will speak up if it falls short.

Learning to work your way around the Haven is same as learning a new ship. If it weren't for those 'rug fish', I would probably be walking in circles. It takes a time or two to discover what you like and also to discover what you're missing in Haven perks.

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